Executive Summary

In 2020, when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced all businesses to move online, the majority had to mature their digital operations rapidly rather than taking the time to evolve naturally. Out of business necessity, every surviving enterprise has devised a way out of the crisis by adding people, processes, and technology in an approach that was most cost-effective and yet offered it a quick way to sustain their business through the pandemic. Consequently, IT and digital operations have become an integral part of all enterprises. Although they have figured out a way to survive, a majority of those enterprises still have not matured their IT operations enough to deal with incidents properly.

To understand the current state of IT operations, Constellation Research teamed up with a leading survey firm, Dimensional Research, to conduct a survey during June and July 2023 that asked more than 300 IT professionals a series of questions related to the current state of IT operations. Of the 317 respondents, one-third were incident responders, one-third were their direct managers, and one-third were budget holders of the incident response unit. The survey results indicate that most enterprises today are not set up to handle IT-related incidents or crises in real time.

The observations and graphs included in this report reflect the survey results. Some of the findings were in line with Constellation’s expectations, and others were eye-opening. Among major findings, the following items stood out:

  • Incidents, both major and minor, are more frequent than expected.
  • The current way of responding to incidents is broken.
  • The cost of incident resolution is almost always very high.
  • Leadership lacks visibility into top incidents, team toil, team burnout, and incident response costs.
  • Production ops is getting harder as scale and complexity increase.

This report gives leaders recommendations and best practices in addition to the survey results and analysis.

One thing still remains the same: Effectively managing major incidents with ease and letting customers know that the organization is prepared for them and can handle situations in the future instills confidence in the brand. Enterprises are not only realizing that but also working toward it.

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